Three Things to Know About the Bowes Foundation's Health Grantmaking

William K. Bowes Jr., founding partner of U.S. Venture Partners, moves his philanthropy through the William K. Bowes Jr. Foundation, which held more than $350 million in assets, and gave away close to $40 million in a recent year. The foundation focuses on the Bay Area, and higher education is one priority. Another is medical and science research. Bowes—both the foundation, and the man behind it—keeps a relatively low-profile, and the foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. But here are a few must-knows about this foundation's health grantmaking:

1. Bowes Has a Particular Interest in Cancer

Bowes has been a strong bankroller of the the Canary Foundation in Palo Alto, California. The Canary Foundation describes itself as "a nonprofit dedicated to the goal of identifying cancer early through a simple blood test and then isolating it with imaging." At least $7.5 million went to the Canary Foundation in 2012, and at least $1.5 million went there in 2013.

Sums have also gone to Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation ($600,000 in 2013 and also in 2012) and Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Support has also recently gone to the Clearity Foundation, towards treatment options for ovarian cancer patients.

2. A Lot of Bowes-backed Research Takes Place at Colleges and Universities

Bowes has granted at least $7 million to the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. The Bowes Fund for Innovative Research has funded a integrative medicine research projects in areas such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension. 

Bowes has bankrolled the Bio-X Graduate Fellowship Program, which offers Stanford Ph.D. candidates funding to pursue "interdisciplinary research and to work with multiple mentors."

As well, Harvard Stem Cell Institute is the site of the Bowes Acceleration Fund. Projects supported by the fund may be in any area of stem cell-related biology with a preference for projects "in areas of HSCI’s existing Disease Programs: Blood, Cancer, Cardiovascular, Diabetes, Kidney, and Nervous System."

3. Assorted Sums Have Gone to Other Health Outfits, Too

Bowes has backed fellow bay area philanthropy, the Sandler Foundation, and its asthma programming, with at least $1.5 million going to these efforts in 2013 alone. At least $1.7 million went to Gladstone Institutes in 2013, a bay area outfit that "devises multi-pronged solutions for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and other disorders of the nervous system."

Sums have also gone to Peer Health Exchange, and Quantum Leap Healthcare Collaborative, whose mission is to accelerate "transfer of high-impact research in clinical processes and systems technology into widespread adoption so that patients and physicians can benefit from the research as soon as possible."